What is the effect of the author's craft in Oedipus Rex?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most profound effects of Sophocles' craftsmanship is to create a character in Oedipus that arouses a sense of pity out of the audience.  Oedipus is depicted in a multi-dimensional way.  Due to the way in which Sophocles constructs him, one can view Oedipus in many different ways, with each way reverting back to the pathetic condition in which he lives.  The sense of empathy for Oedipus in being "only human" is something that Sophocles is able to develop.  His use of the Chorus is one such example of this, as they voice opinions of traditional Greek society, and enable the reader to recognize Oedipus' actions in this light, in his own light, and in the light of the reader.  At the same time, Sophocles is able to craft out a sense of catharsis or sense of evolution in both character and audience member simply by watching what Oedipus endures.  It is through Sophocles style and craftsmanship that this becomes evident and possible by the end of the drama.  In this light, one sees that the effect of the author's craft is to construct a rendering in which one immediately recognizes its true power and beauty.


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